Stupid People

--Apparently, They Breed Like Rats--Or Minks.

By Tom Danehy

LIFE IS HARD enough without having to deal with stupid people. There are lots of them out there and, apparently, they breed like Kennedys.

Let me make this clear: I'm not talking about mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm talking about actually thinking it through before going out and doing something totally thoughtless.

Danehy Take, for example, the radio sports talk show host whose topic last week was "Women shouldn't be allowed to play basketball, or any other sport, for that matter."

His name is Poppa Joe Dickhead, I believe, and he pollutes the airwaves in the afternoons on some pathetic AM station. At first his listeners thought he was kidding or trying to be provocative, but as the show wore on, it became clear that he is deep into that barefoot-and-pregnant mentality.

A lot of national sports talk doofuses are into that stuff. Never having played ball in their sorry lives and wishing only to be able to stand near enough to real athletes to get a whiff of used jock, these guys take a faux macho stance and dog women's sports as a forum for airing their fear and/or hatred of women.

To be fair, there are some, like Gabe on 1400-AM who, for one reason or another, just don't like women's sports. But at least Gabe has a laissez faire attitude about it. Different strokes. This Poppa Joe clown (whom I hope isn't somebody's real poppa) was just mean and vile. And stupid.

Example Two: My kids recently completed their respective baseball and softball seasons. Most of their games were played at Jacobs Park, near Prince and Oracle roads. It's always been a nice park to visit and a cool place to watch a ballgame. Until this year.

During the very first week of the season, back in early April, everything was fine. Then, strange things began to happen. First, the bleachers disappeared from the softball field. Then, the dugouts began to disappear, piece by piece. Finally, a large mound of dirt was deposited just outside the foul line at the baseball field.

When the Little League team I coached had to play a game there in the middle of May, the place had devolved into the Venue from Hell.

There would be an out-of-season thunderstorm later that day, one which blasted the northwest side with dust storms and high winds. But that morning it was just hot and nasty. My ballplayers had to stand the entire game in a rectangle of loose dirt where just weeks before had stood a perfectly good dugout, bench included.

The other team had a bench, but no fence around it. On the first pitch of the game, their lead-off hitter swatted a lazy fly ball down the right-field line. To be fair, the only things my fielder had managed to catch at that point in the season were a cold and then a strange rash during the 5th-grade sleepover. Still, he responded properly, drifting over toward the line, his eyes on the ball.

To be honest, I have no idea if he would have caught the ball. But he certainly would have had a better chance to do so had he not crashed into a five-foot-high pile of dirt right next to the right-field line.

We pulled his head out of the pile, dusted him off, and sent him back to the field. Then we went back into the pile to find the ball.

"Boy, it's nasty having that pile of dirt there," I muttered. Shortly thereafter, having heard me, God responded. First, there was just the slightest hint of a breeze, a mere whisper meant only to tease the sweat-drenched lot of us.

Suffice it to say that the whisper eventually turned into a shout and the five-foot pile of dirt was reduced considerably. You know how when you're sweating and dust blows on you and sticks, you take on the appearance of The Thing in the original Fantastic Four?

Well, we suddenly had us a regular Thing Convention. (Wait, in order to keep the pervs from getting all giggly, I guess I should say we had us a regular The Thing Convention.)

We played there several more times during the season, during which time a skeleton of a dugout was built. This gave the kids two options: Stand around in the inches-thick pile of soft dust or climb the poles when you're supposed to be watching the game. Guess which one this group of 10-year-old boys chose.

When my daughter had her last softball game of the regular season, we showed up to find the finishing touches being put on the dugouts at the southwest field. The kids didn't know they were allowed to go inside.

I actually like the local park system. Most Tucson parks are clean, safe places to go (except for those places where the Gun Nuts feel it's their constitutional right to pack heat near the sand box). But couldn't this have been better planned? Whose idea was it to tear the fields apart at the start of the season and put them back together right at the end?

But my favorite has to be the Animal Liberation Front dorks who staged a daring raid on a mink farm. Committing about 800 felonies along the way, these busybodies cut through the farm's fences, crippled the alarm system, broke into the buildings and let all the minks go.

There was just one small problem: None of the minks was capable of surviving in the wild. The infants hadn't been weaned, so thousands of them died in the first 48 hours of "freedom." The adult females were domesticated, such as it was, and they tried to return to their cages.

And the males? Apparently, their "rescuers" were unaware of the minks' true nature, because within minutes the males were attacking each other in a bloodbath which resulted in a couple thousand more dead animals.

This is like the WKRP In Cincinnati episode where Mr. Carlson says, "I swear I thought turkeys could fly."

Only a small percentage of the original 10,000 minks survived the ordeal. Thank God the criminals weren't Enemies of Wildlife. Things could've gotten really messy. TW

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